BART loses $70m federal funding for Oakland airport connector project

Bay Area Rapid Transit was dealt a major blow on Friday when the federal government denied $70 million in funding for its rail connection plan between the Coliseum station and Oakland International Airport.

Federal officials said BART could possibly not meet deadlines for a required study of the extension’s potential impact on minority residents.  

The Federal Transit Association had received complaints that the project unfairly impacted the low-income communities.  

Opponents of the projects are arguing that money to be spent on the concerned project could be used on saving existing public transit service for low income residents of Oakland. The whole project is estimated to cost around $492 million.

However, commenting on the issue, Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid said, "This project is important to the region and would revitalize a part of Oakland that's always been known as the killing fields of the city."

BART said they would find alternate sources of funding to complete the Oakland Airport connector project.